Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fulton offered top teachers $20,000 to transfer to struggling schools. Did it work? | Get Schooled

Fulton offered top teachers $20,000 to transfer to struggling schools. Did it work? | Get Schooled:

Fulton offered top teachers $20,000 to transfer to struggling schools. Did it work?

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My AJC colleague Marlon Walker had an interesting news story about the 1,400 teachers still needed to fill slots in metro Atlanta school districts.
He wrote:

Even amid a national teacher shortage of about 60,000 this time last year, and ongoing concerns with fewer people going to college to become educators, hiring teams have concentrated on aggressive hiring and a widened net for recruiting. School districts have worked to make the jobs more attractive to people, boosting starting salaries and offering signing and retention bonuses, as well as incentive pay for teachers who take assignments at problem schools.


But does incentive pay entice teachers to problem schools?


In 2014, Fulton County announced an ambitious plan to provide top teachers $20, 000 stipends to work in the system’s lowest-performing schools. At the time, the AJC reported:


No other system in Georgia offers such pay bumps tied to merit, which are aimed at awarding more money to teachers who elicit high achievement by their students. Fulton is part of a small but growing group of U.S. school systems bucking the long-standing educator pay system to put more focus on rewarding teachers based on standardized tests and other measures.


As part of the plan, Fulton would initially place up to 20 high-performing teachers in at least two elementary schools and one middle school that are under-performing. The teachers would be expected to stay at the school at least two years. To qualify, a teacher would be in the top 25 percent on Georgia’s new student growth measure, which is based on standardized test performance.


Fulton leaders say they’re modeling the plan off a recent study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education that looked at 10 districts in seven states that tried a similar program. The study found that with the teacher transfers to low-performing schools, test scores at the elementary level rose while those at the middle school level were mixed.


A year later, in 2015, the AJC checked on the progress of the Fulton pilot and found the district laboring to lure these highly qualified teachers to lower-performing schools.


The newspaper reported:


Although 375 were eligible to participate, only 32 applied, according to Eddie Breaux, a human resources staff director for Fulton schools. He said some of the teachers who did not apply said they believed teachers and principals would not support them. Many did not want to make longer commutes.
So what finally happened to the Fulton experiment? It faded away. The architects, former Fulton superintendent Robert Avossa and chief strategy Fulton offered top teachers $20,000 to transfer to struggling schools. Did it work? | Get Schooled:

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